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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Prime Minister Theresa May suggested to EU leaders that, ‘in exchange for a bespoke Withdrawal Agreement AND a bespoke Trade Deal with the EU, the UK proposed paying £39 Billion to the EU.’
Now, we all knew that £9 Billion of that £39 Billion was to pay for the UK’s ongoing commitments to the EU — such as pension payment obligations, programmes that the UK had agreed to fund or partially fund, and for other miscellaneous fees, charges, and payments that aren’t under any dispute whatsoever.
Let me be clear. In no way is £9 Billion of the then-proposed £39 Billion under dispute. The UK will owe that amount to the EU upon leaving the bloc and I don’t think anyone wants the United Kingdom to shirk on its legitimate obligations to the EU. Certainly, no British politician has suggested that paying the £9 Billion is under dispute.
So when we’re talking about payments to the EU we need to keep in mind that the remaining £30 Billion of the total £39 Billion was discussed in the context of obtaining a bespoke Withdrawal Agreement and a bespoke Trade Deal.
Neither of which look likely to happen now, or ever.
Why then do wags continue to chunter-on about this proposed £39 Billion as if it’s a living, breathing thing that might actually be due and payable, or might actually occur, when it was only ever a proposal?
Without a Withdrawal Agreement and Trade Deal that works for the UK there was never an agreement to pay £39 Billion to the EU. Full Stop!
An aside to Jeremy Hunt; Of all people, stop talking about it as if it’s a thing. It’s not.
Without a bespoke Withdrawal Agreement that works for the UK, and without a bespoke Trade Deal that works for the UK, there was never an agreement to hand over £39 Billion of taxpayer money.
So, stop suggesting that its a thing already due and payable when the conditions to pay it are nowhere near being met, nor are ever likely to be met.
Again, there’s no dispute about paying the legitimate £9 Billion to the EU, as that’s an expected and approved expense and payment isn’t contingent upon receiving a reasonable Withdrawal Agreement, nor a reasonable Trade Deal with the EU.
But if the Conservatives think they’re unpopular in the polls now, just wait until they hand over £39 Billion of taxpayer money for no Withdrawal Agreement and no Trade Deal. The Conservatives might not form a government for the rest of the century!
Brexit THREAT: EU will ‘INSIST’ on getting Brexit £39 billion from UK even with NO DEAL (The Express)
If this amount gets paid (for no Withdrawal Agreement and no Trade Deal) imagine yourself watching Prime Minister’s Questions when Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn thunders from the despatch box in the House of Commons, ‘This week, Mr. Speaker, the government has paid yet another £28,846,153.84 for no Withdrawal Agreement and no Trade Deal. What was the government thinking?’ (That weekly amount assumes the £30 Billion would be pro rated over 1040 weeks, or 20-years)
Labour leaders could milk that cow until the end of the century.
Let’s hope that Conservatives stop thinking that £39 Billion is what the UK owes the EU and begins thinking about it as £30 Billion the EU must earn!
So, how can the EU earn £30 Billion from the UK?
By working out a satisfactory Withdrawal Agreement and a satisfactory Trade Deal. Otherwise, no £30 Billion. It couldn’t be simpler.